About the Flickertail State
The Flickertail State is one of the unofficial nicknames of North Dakota. The Richardson ground squirrels that inhabit the state are the reason for this nickname. The state assembly voted against making this the official nickname in 1953. Four years later, the state assembly declared Peace Garden State as the state’s official nickname. The Roughrider State is another unofficial nickname for North Dakota.
North Dakota is located in the upper midwest portion of the United States. It is bordered to the north by Saskatchewan, Canada and Manitoba, Canada. To the west is Montana. South Dakota is located to the south. Minnesota borders North Dakota to the east.
Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de La Verendrye was the explorer who, in 1738, founded the land that is now North Dakota. Prior to his exploration, Native Americans inhabited the area. Once discovered, both the French and the Spanish laid claim to the land. The land was then bought as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The population slowly increased when the railroads began to extend through the area. On November 2, 1889, North Dakota entered the Union as the 39th state.
The capital of North Dakota is Bismarck. This city is the home of the Dakota Zoo, which is the largest zoo in the area. Fargo, which is the largest city in North Dakota, is home to four museums, including the Fargo Air Museum. You will also find many public golf courses in this city. North Dakota is also the home of Bonanzaville, a 15-acre village that depicts the history of the state.
North Dakota has a variety of landscapes. You will find mountains, rivers, lakes and plains areas in this state. The western portion of the state is part of the Great Plains. To the west of the Missouri River, you will find the northern portion of the Badlands. The eastern portion of the state is called the Red River Valley. This area is a fairly flat region that includes the glacial lake, Agassiz Lake. The central portion of the state is home to many lakes and rivers. This area, specifically near Rugby, is the geographic center of North America.
North Dakota is the nation’s largest producer of sunflower seeds, durum wheat and barley. The Flickertail State is also the leading supplier of farm-raised turkeys for the United States. Because of the large expanse of wide-open farmland in this state, agriculture is the leading economic industry. The state does, however, produce a large amount of the nation’s petroleum and processed foods. The Bank of North Dakota and the North Dakota Mill and Elevator are the only state-owned bank and flour mill in the United States.